The Times is reporting the British government is considering using the Isle of Man as an asylum centre in an effort to deter people from making dangerous journeys to Britain.
The story, which appears on the newspaper’s front page this morning, says the British gov is considering opening asylum centres on the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
Similar plans were mooted last year, but it was made clear that the UK could not open a centre without the support of the Manx gov. The Tory gov has faced criticism from some over its approach to asylum seekers in recent months.
‘Priti Patel, the home secretary, will publish details next week of plans for the biggest overhaul of the asylum and immigration system for a generation. It will include a consultation on changing the law so that migrants seeking asylum can be sent to processing centres in third countries’, writes Times deputy political editor Steven Swinford and home affairs editor Matt Dathan.
They added: ‘The Times understands that Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, and the Isle of Man, a Crown dependency, have been discussed by officials. Other islands off the British coast, possibly in Scotland, are said to be under consideration. Off-shore British territories have been described as “in the mix”.
‘Third countries will also be considered but have not been named. The government believes that sending migrants to third countries for processing would be compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Last year Foreign Office explored building detention centres to process asylum seekers in countries including Moldova, Morocco or Papua New Guinea, but they were rejected as unrealistic. Other options considered included converting disused ferries into processing centres
This latest plan follows on from suggestions in the UK media that Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted to use the island as a roundabout as part of his undersea network of tunnels to link Great Britain and the island of Ireland.
Gef has contacted the Manx gov for a response to the claims made by the Times.